NEWS | May 11, 2014

Joint Task Force-Bravo's Medical Element provides care to over 720 Honduran villagers

By Capt. Steven Stubbs Joint Task Force-Bravo Public Affairs

Joint Task Force -Bravo's Medical Element (MEDEL), with support from JTF-Bravo Joint Security Forces and Army Forces Battalion, partnered with the Honduran Ministry of Health and the Honduran military to provide medical care to more than 720 people over two days in the remote village of La Arena in the Copan region of Honduras during a Medical Readiness Training Exercise (MEDRETE), May 5-9.

"The people are always wonderful and I enjoy the opportunity to work with my Honduran counterparts to provide the much needed medical care "," said U.S. Army Capt. Jamie Alvarado, a registered nurse with MEDEL. "It was amazing to be able to help those in need and to see the gratitude they had for the medical care we provided."

The JTF-Bravo team, the Honduran Ministry of Health, and the Honduran military worked together to provide preventative medicine to the patients, including classes on hygiene, preventative dental care, and nutrition. They also provided immunizations to infants, dental care, wellness checkups, medications, and minor medical procedures.

The multi-national group convoyed a total of eight hours from Soto Cano Air Base to the city of Santa Rosa de Copan where the team established their base camp. Then each day they drove an additional two hours to La Arena to provide medical care to the villagers.

"The exercise went very well," said U.S. Army Capt. Eugene Gracia, the commissioned officer-in-charge for this MEDRETE. "Everybody came together as a team and both the U. S. and Honduran forces made the mission a complete success. We were able to provide medical care to more than 720 Hondurans, and gain valuable experience in the process that is very beneficial to all who were involved."

Joint Task Force-Bravo's MEDEL is composed of 64 Army personnel who have come together from across the United States and have provided medical care to more than 8,700 people in Honduras over the last 12 months. MEDEL provides preventative medical care, wellness check-ups, dental care, preventative dental care, surgical care, and physical therapy through local partnerships in Comayagua, Tegucigalpa, and through local MEDRETEs which are carried out on a weekly basis.